This I Believe

Hannah - Rockford, Michigan
Entered on January 21, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: family

My brother and I are polar opposites, he’s carefree, lazy, laid-back, and most consider him charming. While I have a tendency to procrastinate and fuss with minute details, he simply won’t do things. I’m the academic; he’s the jock. I would say we fight like the Hatfields and the McCoys, but somehow we share a mother and father.

Our mode of communication is the utilization of strategic insults. But the thing is, I love my jerk of a brother, when I call him an idiot, it’s a term of endearment. This I believe: not all forms of caring come from snuggly, lovey- dovey, warm fuzzies. Those that truly care can – and will – insult, belittle, and enrage you, all with your best interests at heart. Now, I’m not saying they should ridicule your every living second, that’s not caring, that’s abuse. Even my brother and I have our Kodak moments when we’re picture perfect siblings. Much to my mother’s distress, however, more often than not my brother and I trade insults. Underneath our discourteous banter though, is an understanding and mostly loving relationship.

When I tell him to get his lazy ass in gear and go for a run, or no girl’s going to look twice at his hideously revolting face it’s because I want him to succeed. I don’t care about his love life – for some reason many girls his age find him attractive – but it’s a good motivator. What I care about is his endurance level. He’s a soccer player, and being inherently lazy needs to be poked and prodded to exercise or he’ll never reach his dreams of playing at the college level. I love him and I want him to live his dreams.

When he calls me a poop-y head (he’s not that creative) and tells me to mind my own pathetically lacking social life because no one gives a damn for my opinion, it’s because he wants me to be a better person. He knows I have friends and a healthy social life; he doesn’t care about that. He cares about me and he would like me to think before I speak. He recognizes that I am inclined to be nosey and wants me to be more likable and less grating. He loves me and he wants me to improve myself.

My brother and I know when to hold back the most hurtful remarks, the roots of our insults are not in abhorrence; they’re in love. And while they sting sometimes, they are mainly meant as motivation. My brother cares for me – that’s why he insults, belittles, and enrages me. The relationships that last are those that you have to work for. I know my brother, when he reads this he’ll say, “That’s retarded.” And by retarded he means completely true. Because I know him and care for him, and he knows me and cares for me I can say he is the one of most infuriating people I have ever met.